Bay Area Now: Hitching a ride with Galleon Trade
Super Wofler! That's as good a nickname as any for artist, curator, teacher, and creative tornado Jenifer K. Wofford. In Denmark, a Super Wofler is a mass-produced ice cream cone as Wofford discovered during a recent artist-in-residence stint near Copenhagen, where she also tracked down a version of Planters' elusive and endangered CheezBalls, as well as a school named Wofford College, founded in 1854.
But in the Bay Area and in the Philippines, the Super Wofler of Wofford College is Wofford, whose project Galleon Trade invokes and revises Spanish colonial trade routes to forge new cultural and critical exchange. Sparked by Wofford's curatorial and organizational acumen, Galleon Trade kicked off one year ago in Manila, the Philippines, where art by 12 Californians including Michael Arcega and Stephanie Syjuco landed at two galleries, accompanied by many of the artists. Last year, the Guardian gave Goldie awards to Wofford and Arcega, but many other Galleon Trade participants such as Jaime Cortez and Gina Osterloh have made equally striking and impressive work.
Wofford has a large San Francisco installment of Galleon Trade planned for the Luggage Store Gallery next year. For the moment, the "BAN 5" version will spotlight some local Galleon Tradeers, and some Filipino artists like Norberto "Peewee" Roldan of Green Papaya Art Projects who Wofford met last summer. "A couple artists are doing work that is phenomenological as opposed to overtly political," she says, during a phone interview that includes an only half-joking reference to "carpetbaggers" when the touchy topic of including nonBay Area artists is broached. "I could see people getting pinched about the fact that we're expanding the idea of what should be included." Who says the Bay Area only resides in the Bay Area, anyway?
GALLEON TRADE Sept. 5Oct. 19 in the YBCA Terrace Galleries. Opening party, Sept. 4, 58 p.m.